Amazon has run some opposition with its Kindle 2‘s text-to-speech function. The Authors Guild claims that Read-to-Me may violate authors’ rights. Executive director Paul Aiken said, “They don’t have the right to read a book out loud. That’s an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law.”
The Guild is worried that audio book sales will be compromised by the feature, but we all know that hearing an electronic voice isn’t even close to that of the author or other human reader. We don’t think they really have to worry at this point, do you?
You can pick up a Kindle 2 at Amazon now.
Read More | Real Tech News
File this under “that was quick.” M-Edge has released an Executive Jacket for the Amazon Kindle 2. The padded case has a mounting system to keep your new toy from dirt and bumps, and includes pockets for business cards or notes. Access to ports is available even when closed. Shown here with the e-Luminator (sold separately,) the 100% leather cover is available for $44.99. M-Edge has covers for other e-books as well including the Kindle 1, the eFlybook, Sony’s PRS-505 and the iRex ILiad.
Read More | M-Edge
This morning at a press conference from the Morgan Library, Amazon finally announced the long-awaited Kindle 2 e-book reader. The updated version will cost $359, and sports quite a few worthy improvements. First, it is much thinner than the original Kindle at just .36-inches thin. Yes, that is just about as thin as a #2 pencil, and thinner than an iPhone. It also sports 7 times more storage than the original, which means it can hold over 1,500 books. Battery life is 25% longer as well, which means you should be able to go a couple of weeks between charges.
When it comes to actually, you know, reading, the display is what matters. Luckily, Amazon improved that as well, as the new display can display 16 shades of gray, which results in clearer text and crisper images. By far, though, we think the biggest feature is the one they are calling Read to Me. It is a text-to-speech feature that lets the Kindle read any book, magazine, blog, or newspaper out loud to you. Kind of cool.
As we said, the new Kindle will sell for $359, and it starts shipping on February 24th. They are sold on a first come, first served basis, but if you are a Kindle 1 owner and order before midnight PST on February 10th, you will receive first priority. You can order one now at the Kindle 2 product page on Amazon.
Amazon has joined the ranks of other companies to offer a sweet deal for Valentine’s Day. Can’t get enough emails from your loved one? The online company is offering a 2fer deal. Buy one Peek for $79.99 and get a second free with instant rebate. The device comes in grey, pink or aqua, and has a color display, full keypad and simple menu usage. To get both, add an extra one at checkout.
Read More | Amazon
Adding to their movie and music downloading/streaming, Amazon has ventured into the video game business. Designed for the casual gamer, the beta Amazon Game Downloads has about 600 titles for $10.00 or less. They are also offering 30 minutes of play before you decide to buy. As a happy aside, you can get 3 freebies through February 10, Jewel Quest II, Build-a-lot and the Scruffs. The only catch is that the offer is only available in the U.S. for now.
Read More | Amazon
Anyone who has ever Turked knows that there are some pretty silly requests sometimes for very little bucks (most are less than a nickel each, depending on the complexity and work involved.) It seems that Belkin employee Michael Bayard (or someone using his name) posted a hit on the site offering $.65 for positive reviews on the company’s products listed on Amazon. After being contacted, Belkin’s president Mark Reynoso issued a response, apologized and claimed that they have removed all postings as well as the fake reviews.
Read More | The Daily Background
We are gonna go out on a limb and say this is likely the best gaming deal you’ll see today. Over at Amazon, they are selling the 1-year Xbox Live Gold subscription at just $29.97. That’s a little over $20 off the standard price of $50 that most of us pay on a yearly basis to stay connected to the Xbox Live golden world, or in other words, a full 40% off. If you are nearing the end of your subscription, you’ll wanna grab one, certainly. Heck, I’m gonna pick up a few just so I can stay stocked up. At $30, why not?
Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first sale of its kind, as Buy.com was also pulling a similar stunt last week. Could we be seeing the beginnings of an Xbox Live Gold price drop? Maybe?
Read More | Amazon
VIZIO is launching a new platform that they’re calling “Conneced HDTV,” and with it comes confirmation of the second Netflix direct-to-TV partnership. VIZIO’s Connected HDTV platform is designed to compliment traditional television viewing. You just connect the television to your home network, and if there’s nothing good on, you can go into Netflix, and I am sure there will be other services (YouTube? Hulu?) that you’ll be able to pull up as well. This is a trend we are definitely liking, let’s eliminate set-top boxes while providing more viewing options for the consumer.
EDIT: Okay, we just got more details on this. Aside from Netflix, the VIZIO Connected HDTV platform also brings Amazon Video on Demand, Pandora, Flickr, Blockbuster OnDemand, Rhapsody, Adobe Flash content, games from Accedo Broadband, and the Yahoo! widget engine. Very, very interesting!
Read More | MarketWatch
While most retailers lost money this holiday season, Amazon is pleased to announce that they did just fine, thank you very much. Their best sellers included the Wii, the iPod touch and Samsung’s 52-inch LCD HDTV. They claim an increase of 17% (6.3 million items) on their busiest day, Dec.15. That is almost a million more than last year. Somehow we are not surprised as online shopping is so much easier now considering most of us can order what we want without the hassle of snow, nasty shoppers and crowded malls.
Read More | USA Today
Don’t wanna splurge on something like an iPhone or BlackBerry? After checking out the Palm Centro, we think this might be the device to pick up for that loved one. You can get one for as low as $49.99 on AT&T, and it’s a great introductory smartphone - a huge step-up from your typical flip camera or music phone. It supports instant messaging, web browsing, has a full QWERTY keyboard, 320x320 touchscreen, media player, 1.3-megapixel camera, 64MB internal storage, and Bluetooth. Seriously, that isn’t bad for a $50 smartphone. Oh, even better? Pick it up on Amazon, and it’s free with contract.
Read More | Palm Centro on Amazon